The fresh food people may be who you think of when it comes to phones, but Woolworths Mobile has made a name for itself thanks to a spate of great value plans. In fact, Woolworths is the only provider other than Big T that sells new phones on the Telstra network, making it an attractive option if you want a new device on a plan without paying too much of a premium. But if you want to get the most out of your phone plan, you may be wondering whether Woolies’ cheaper options can go toe-to-toe with what you get on Telstra proper. To help, we’re going to look at how the pair compare.
Woolworths Mobile coverage
Woolworths Mobile may be powered by the Telstra network, but it doesn’t have access to the entire Telstra network. Instead, Woolworths Mobile uses the Telstra wholesale network, which reaches 98.8% of the Australian population. Telstra’s full network reaches 99.4%.
This might not seem like a massive difference, but it can affect coverage in remote, regional, and rural areas. Here’s how the full Telstra network compares to the Telstra wholesale network (Woolworths Mobile).
At this stage, Woolworths Mobile doesn’t have access to the 5G portion of the Telstra network.
Phones on a plan
Woolworths Mobile is one of the few providers outside of the big three that sells new phones on a plan, but it typically only ranges Samsung and OPPO devices. These plans do however tend to be some of the cheapest around when it comes to the devices in question.
If you were after a Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G, you could get a 40GB plan for $115.08 per month on a 24-month term from Woolworths. You’d be looking at $138.29 per month for a 40GB plan with Telstra. And if 40GB is too much, Woolies also has a 20GB plan going for $105.08 per month.
Admittedly, part of this is because of a Woolworths Mobile Note 20 pre-order offer, that saves you $10.41 per month on a 24-month plan if you pick up the phone before August 20. But even at full price, Woolworths’ plans are clearly cheaper.
Here’s how Woolies’ and Telstra’s Note 20 Ultra 5G plans compare:
It’s the same story when it comes to other manufacturers. If you were looking at the OPPO Find X2 Pro, a 40GB plan would set you back $107.50 per month on Woolies, or $121.62 per month on Telstra.
Here’s a selection of the Samsung devices you can currently get through Woolworths Mobile:
And here’s a selection of the OPPO devices you’ll find:
Device plans from Woolies can be paid off across the standard 24 months, or over 36 months if you'd prefer a lower monthly bill. These plans are no-contract on the basis that you can leave at any time, but you'll need to pay out the remaining value of your smartphone.
Woolworths Mobile smartphone plans also include data banking. At the end of each month, any unused data gets stored in a "data bank" that can then be used if you ever exceed your standard monthly allowance. You can bank up to 100GB with Woolworths.
Woolies might win on price, but Telstra has far more device options than Woolworths, including iPhones, Pixels, and Motorola devices. Here are a few of the phones on offer:
You can check out the full Telstra phone range here.
Telstra plans also have larger data options than what you'll get on Woolworths Mobile. 60GB is the largest plan you’ll find at Woolies, whereas Telstra plans start at 40GB. If you’re super thirsty, you can get a plan as large as 180GB.
Telstra’s plans are also contract-free in that you can leave at any time, but you will need to pay out the remaining value of your smartphone to do so. Telstra only sells phones on a 24-month term.
Telstra’s SIM-only plans are identical to the plans you can pair a phone with. Plans start at $55 per month with 40GB of data, and max out at $115 per month with 180GB of data. All Telstra plans are also free from excess data charges. If you manage to go over your massive allowance, you'll be able to keep using mobile internet with no excess usage fees, albeit capped to speeds of 1.5Mbps. These plans are all contract-free.
At the moment, Telstra is offering a free three-month Binge subscription to anyone who signs up to one of its current plans. You can extend this to six months if you also sign-up to Telstra Plus, Telstra’s loyalty program.
Here are Telstra's current SIM-only plans:
Woolies SIM-only plans are a lot cheaper than Telstra’s, starting at $20 per month for 5GB. There’s a catch however: you’ll need to commit to a 12-month contract to get these deals.
As with Woolworths' handset plans, the telco's SIM-only plans let you bank up to 100GB of data.
Here are Woolworth Mobile's current SIM-only plans:
Overseas travel might not be on the cards for a while, but it’s still worth being aware about what telcos offer – especially if you’re making a longer-term commitment with your plan.
If you want to roam with Woolworths Mobile, you can purchase a roaming add on. Prices start at $25 for add-on with a five-day expiry. This gets you an 800MB allowance, 60 minutes of voice and 60 text messages.
Here’s the full range:
|Product||5 Day Roaming Add-on||10 Day Roaming Add-on||15 Day Roaming Add-on|
|Voice Calls||60 min||150 min||240 min|
|SMS||60 SMS||150 SMS||240 SMS|
|Validity Period||5 days||10 days||15 days|
Woolies roaming works in 63 different countries.
Roaming will cost you $10 per day on Telstra. This gets you 200MB of daily data and unlimited talk and text in more than 70 countries. If you're travelling to New Zealand, you'll only pay $5 per day.
If you go over your 200MB of daily data, Telstra will charge you another $10 and add 500MB of roaming data to your account. This data has a 31-day expiry and can be used on subsequent days whenever you go over your initial 200MB.
Telstra plans tend to be the pricier option, but you can also get plenty of freebies. To start, every Big T mobile customer gets the following with their plan or recharge:
- Data-free music streaming through Apple Music
- Free access to Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots in Australia
- Free access to Fon public Wi-Fi hotposts when overseas
Customers spending at least $30 per month on their plan or recharge also get AFL, NRL, My Football, and Netball Live Passes, which allow you to watch every game of the season live and data-free.
You'll also get access to the Telstra Plus perks program, which gets you a few other bonuses. These include:
- $12.50 movie tickets for Event and BCC cinemas, excluding sessions after 5pm on a Saturday, public holidays, and special events
- Free popcorn and drink large combo upgrade when you book a movie ticket through Telstra
- Presale tickets for select concerts and events
- Discounted tickets for select sporting events
You’ll need to join Telstra Plus to get these bonuses. Joining is free, however.
Telstra Plus points
Telstra Plus also functions as a sort of frequent flyer style reward program, where you’ll earn 10 points for every dollar you spend with Telstra. These points can then be redeemed phones, smart speakers, headphones, and more. Alternatively, if you don't have enough points, you can use them for a discount.
The actual dollar value of points is kinda small, however. For example, a pair of AirPods Pro would set you back 125,000 points. That’s the equivalent of spending $12,500 with Telstra. Considering they’re a pair of $399 headphones, this means each dollar is worth about a third of a cent.
Telstra does however occasionally give points away as part of promotions, and there also “points plus pay” options. For example, burning 75,000 points will get you the AirPods Pro for $168. This repayment can be paid outright, or in 12 or 24 interest-free monthly repayments.
Given the limited value, Telstra Points certainly aren’t a reason to go with Telstra, but if you’re a customer for long enough, they might earn you a little treat. Do be aware that Telstra Points expire after three years.
Woolies isn’t as perky as Telstra, but customers get a rather unique offer. Woolworths Mobile customers get 10% off their grocery shop (at Woolworths, obviously) once per month. This discount maxes out at $50.
There are few bits of fine print you should be aware of. You need to have been with Woolworths for at least 60 days before you'll be able to take advantage of the discount, and you'll also need to be an Everyday Rewards member with your card linked to your account.
After, you'll be able to use the discount once per month, either in store or online. When you’re checking out, you’ll be asked if you want to redeem your 10%.
Not what you’re looking for? Compare more mobile plans here:
Alex Choros is Managing Editor at WhistleOut, Australia's phone and internet comparison website.
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